Enrollment Management > Signature Initiatives > Talent Management Strategy
In the ever-changing landscape of higher education, institutions are challenged to build a workforce that is agile and strategically responsive. But how is that done?
In DePaul’s Division of Enrollment Management (EM), it starts with a basic premise: jobs are not as flexible as the people who occupy them. In a chapter titled "Tomorrow’s SEM Organization: New Perspectives and Priorities for a Changing Workforce," David Kalsbeek, former senior vice president of EM, wrote about "dejobbing" the enrollment management organization. He suggested shifting focus from static jobs in rigid organizations to a talented, flexible workforce. EM is expanding on the "dejobbing" concept to build its collective talent.
EM’s approach is to hire and develop employees who are able to not only perform their current roles but have the necessary qualities to adapt and succeed as the priorities and needs of the division change. EM is implementing this approach through the development of the EM Competency Model Project, the foundation for its talent management strategy.
The first phase of implementation was to create a library defining competencies (the combination of knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors that describe how to accomplish what a position is expected to deliver) required for the breadth and depth of work that is done in the division. This library was then used to describe each position within the division. To house this information, EM developed an online tool to which all employees within EM have access.
Through this significant step, managers shifted the focus from defining a position by percentages of time spent on a set of static tasks toward a set of competencies required to fulfill a role even as the role evolves. This approach builds organizational capacity and provides increased clarity for staff regarding career development in the division.
Measures of success for EM’s talent management efforts include higher employee engagement and lower attrition rates resulting from an increased understanding by management and staff regarding potential career paths within the division. The broadest measure of success, however, is achieving and exceeding university goals with a talented, adaptive and agile workforce.
In 2010, DePaul’s Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing (EMM) created a master list of competencies that apply to positions throughout the division. Referred to as the EMM Competency Library, this list contains 39 competencies developed by the division’s leadership and validated by staff within the division.
A competency is a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors that describe how to accomplish what a position is expected to carry out. Each competency is composed of two basic parts: 1) the competency name and definition, and 2) behavioral descriptors, which offer specifics about what actions demonstrate the competency and exemplify success. The behavioral descriptors in each competency are specifically used to determine proficiency levels (i.e., basic, intermediate or mastery) that are used for job grading, selection, performance assessment and professional development.
The EMM Competency Library is organized into four categories:
Each position in EMM requires anywhere from 10 to 28 competencies; the combination of competencies—as well as the expected proficiency levels—depends on the position's level and area within the division.
The language within the EMM Competency Library allows staff, managers and division leadership to have more meaningful conversations regarding professional performance and development as well as provides context for talent management strategies. The model also helps hiring managers identify candidates with the right competencies for their open positions.
The following offers one example competency and a selection of its associated behavioral descriptors for each of the four categories found within the EMM Competency Library.
Sustaining CompetencySelf-Awareness: Operating with a combination of authenticity, curiosity, truth-facing, insight seeking, courage and openness